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Practicing for a Tough Job Interview? Imagine Your Interviewer Is Mark Zuckerberg.

The Betts Team
February 20, 2020

How would you do in a job interview with Facebook? Or even Mark Zuckerberg himself? Or more to the point, how would you convince a globally recognized, multibillion-dollar corporation to invest in your talents as their next big thing? You need to let them know you have the vision and the cool and the skills and knowledge to do that job. Here’s how you can do that.

How your interview might resemble a top-level interview at Facebook

Here are a few things tough sales interviews have in common with the kind of interview you might expect at Facebook.

Do you have a big sales interview coming up? Learn everything you need to know about the role you’re applying for in our role profiles.

  • Don’t forget they’re looking for builders. They want you to understand what the foundation bricks are of such a company and how they go together, and maybe how you can put them together better. The same can go for tough sales and marketing interviews, in which companies don’t just want someone who can sell a product, but who feels invested in the overall sales and marketing strategy and in making it better when SKO or team outings come along.
  • Solid sales people are never satisfied. Even those who hit their quota should be hungry for more. There’s an analogy to this at Facebook. As Miranda Kalinowski once said: “Anyone who listens to Mark will hear him say that we’ve still got 5 billion people to connect, so no one should be resting on their laurels. That sense of urgency and energy around it is infectious.”
  • There are multiple levels you will have to convince that you can both master your job and get along with people.
  • There are several levels of gatekeeping. You need to have a good CV or job application, then be able to ace phone interviews and only then face to face.
  • Know your job, know the company, and understand the culture.
  • You need a deep understanding and appreciation of the company.
  • Once they know you know, they want to check if you can get along with people.  Tours are standard, as are group work tasks.

It’s not Mark Zuckerberg you need to impress

Facebook, like most of these mega internet companies, may look fun and personable on the surface. But underneath it all, it has to be serious business. If Facebook loses your data, they can face fines in the millions or billions, so they need you to be serious. The next thing is Mark Zuckerberg is a little too rich, famous, and busy to interview you, so you need to impress Miranda Kalinowski, Facebook’s head of recruitment, or rather her team.

“We need to make sure that we’re hiring people who are deeply invested in us, first and foremost,” … we hire builders. So regardless of whether we’re hiring an engineer or a finance analyst, they’re going to be the people who like to build things.”

Think like a builder if you want to build a relationship with Facebook

She said this in an interview with Business Insider magazine, so, first of all, think like a builder.  They’re not going to ask you to overhaul their whole marketing or data security strategy. They will expect you to understand how it works, if that’s your area of expertise, and may be interested in how you’d do it better.  Blue sky thinking but with your feet on the ground. Above all else, do your homework, understand how their product works and how you can work with it, and add to it.

The Facebook job interview is a marathon, not a sprint

You have to go through five interviews for pretty much any job at Facebook, starting with a telephone one.

That measures your professional experience and passion for the company.  Then you’re invited to….another telephone interview, but this one the “technical phone interview.” Here you’re interviewed by someone doing a job similar to the one you’re going for; importantly, this isn’t a recruiter. You have to convince someone who does the job that you know the job.  There are further interviews, including a tour, where the aim is to get you to step up and gauge your personality.  This one involves using an Oculus Rift headset, so yes, many significant companies may choose to interview you in virtual reality partially.

The final word from Mark Zuckerberg on working for Mark Zuckerberg

But what does Mark Zuckerberg think about job interviews?  In a recent interview, he answered.

“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person…In an alternate universe, if things were different and I didn’t start the company, I would be happy to work for that person. Or if Facebook just disappeared and I had to go find something else to go do, then I’d be happy to go work for that person.”So be the kind of person that one of the world’s richest people would want to work for, and you should be good. Simple, right?